We kick off 2018 with a very “friendly” episode, talking to Don Crawley—also known as the Compassionate Geek.
Don is a keynote speaker and corporate trainer who helps service desk technicians improve their empathy and compassion, which leads to higher client satisfaction rates and greater employee happiness. He’s the author of seven books including The Compassionate Geek: How Engineers, IT Pros, and Other Tech Specialists Can Master Human Relations Skills to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service and The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success, plus several technical titles.
But first, the news from Richard Tubb and Karl Palachuk.
What’s Going On
[01:08] Over Christmas, Karl bought himself a device to record his old vinyl records onto CDs. Richard got a Sega Mega Drive clone.
[02:29] Richard’s stepson got a drone and now Richard wants one too.
[02:45] This is also the first What’s Going On segment recorded at Richard’s new standing desk.
[03:09] In the Washington Post: 10 ways tech will shape your life in 2018, for better and worse.
[03:56] Richard & Karl discuss the HomePod, Apple’s first smart speaker. It’s more expensive than other speakers on the market and aimed at audiophiles.
[04:22] We saw Amazon getting into this space at the end of the last year with their speaker devices targeted to business.
[05:03] Things can really take off once Apple gets involved.
[05:23] Wireless charging will probably become mainstream in 2018.
[06:52] Digital subscriptions are becoming the new norm.
[07:48] From an MSP perspective, selling services on a monthly fee model is already here.
[08:44] Is there a danger of people getting burned out with online subscriptions?
[09:54] Meltdown and Spectre: How instructions in a CPU can be tapped into.
[11:55] The 2018 project for bad guys everywhere will be taking advantage of Meltdown and Spectre. Patch management is your friend.
[12:33] Two factor authentication will probably become standard. It’s hitting the mainstream.
Interview with Don Crawley: The Compassionate Geek
[15:46] Don was an IT trainer for many years.
[16:07] When one of his students referred to the class as a bunch of compassionate geeks, a light bulb went off in Don’s head.
[16:15] Compassion is having an awareness of another’s suffering and wanting to alleviate it. A geek is a tech expert often associated with computers.
[17:08] Don collaborated with Paul Senness and now he mostly teaches about customer service from an IT perspective.
[17:45] Talented technical staff sometime struggle with their emotional intelligence.
[18:37] Deep technical competence such as workshops, certifications, and honing technical skills are the hard skills.
[19:06] Soft skills are compassion, empathy, being a good listener, and treating everything and everyone with dignity and respect. It’s important to put yourself in your customer’s position.
[21:02] Treating people with dignity and respect is about our behavior towards other people. It’s not about whether we like them or not.
[21:37] When field techs apply Don’s principles of effective IT customer service, they are more often viewed as partners rather than “the geeks in the basement.”
[22:17] End users are more open with interacting with these techs when they are professional and friendly.
[22:48] Business is about relationships. Your front line people are the face of your business.
[23:52] Customers are also people we work with. We develop a sense of service that becomes a part of everything we do. This leads to more job satisfactions and respect.
[25:01] MSPs large and small are applying the principles and having great success. It lowers churn and helps grow the business.
[25:53] When dealing with end-users, we need to keep in mind they may be very smart and adept within their own areas, but just not fluent in computers. Empathy goes a long way with improving relationships.
Links from this episode
What’s Going On
- 10 Ways Tech Will Shape Your Life in 2018, for Better and Worse
- Meltdown, Spectre: Microsoft Patches, US-CERT Says Replace CPU
- Karl Palachuk: Small Biz Thoughts
- Karl Palachuk (Twitter)
- Richard Tubb: Tubblog
- Richard Tubb (Twitter)
- Don Crawley’s website
- Compassionate Geek online training
- The Compassionate Geek: How Engineers, IT Pros, and Other Tech Specialists Can Master Human Relations Skills to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service
- The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success
- Don Crawley (LinkedIn)
- Don Crawley (Twitter)
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